Death to the privet hedge! And the vast green deserts of grass! Let the gardens become woodland! The dream of the suburban life in the parcel house is obsolete. We cannot pretend that we do not see the effects of our unreflective way of living anymore. We are exploiting the planet in the most imprudent way, and our lazy perception of luxury is an expression of negligence towards the environment. We hog all the territory we can afford and pledge to the routine of work as if consumerism is the meaning of life. Instead we should make space for the ecology around us - even in our gardens - and practice the care and value of sharing: Sharing with both our own species, but especially with the rest of the planet and our co-inhabitants.
This project is a transformation of the suburban life in which the values are shifting with the greater awareness of consumption and land use. Not fostering ownership and individualism, but instead investigating and practicing the possibilities of sharing the vast areas of the existing suburbia, maintaining the cultural and material value of the existing building mass. What happens if you remove the hedges and reduce the private space in favour of the common? Maybe we will discover that the social and ecological advantages surpass the urge to own and control.
Densification of the cities and their suburbia has been central focus in the sustainable development, but after years of dispensations and single-minded plot ratio arguments, higher priority to the social, architectural and sustainable values need to be given. More nuances need to be explored. Diversity in people, landscape, flora, and fauna is key in this context, and the architecture has the potential to “choreograph the encounter” within and between them all.